The Struggle Continues: 2015 Millennium Conversation on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

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Frederick Douglass underscored the importance of the vote when he declared, “Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot,” in a speech delivered May 1865. Nearly 100 years later, voting rights remained the focus of the modern civil rights movement, with a march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital in Montgomery on March 7, 1965. This peaceful protest was met by an attack by state troopers at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. Now commemorated as “Bloody Sunday,” the violence moved President Johnson and the U.S. Congress to act. Five months later on August 6, they overcame Southern legislators' resistance to effective voting legislation and the Voting Rights Act was signed into law. Challenges to this 1965 milestone, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other landmark decisions continue to be met by all manner of resistance leaving many to question the power of the vote to ensure justice and equal rights.

MAAH and the Portraits of Purpose Initiative, a pro-justice learning forum using the arts and dialogue to animate history and to challenge and inspire next generation leadership for social change, invite you to add your voice to this important Millennium Conversation. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kenneth Cooper moderates a panel of distinguished leaders who present historical and current issues with special guest panelists: Michelle Crawford, MassVote; Michael A. Curry Esq., NAACP; Rahsaan D. Hall Esq., Lawyers’ Committee; and Darnell Williams, Urban League.

The conversation is hosted in collaboration with several community-based organizations, including:

Boston NAACP
Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice
Discover Roxbury
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice
National Voting Rights Museum
New Democracy Coalition
Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts